Specific binding of host cellular proteins to multiple sites within the 3' end of mouse hepatitis virus genomic RNA. Academic Article uri icon


  • The initial step in mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) RNA replication is the synthesis of negative-strand RNA from a positive-strand genomic RNA template. Our approach to begin studying MHV RNA replication is to identify the cis-acting signals for RNA synthesis and the proteins which recognize these signals at the 3' end of genomic RNA of MHV. To determine whether host cellular and/or viral proteins interact with the 3' end of the coronavirus genome, an RNase T1 protection/gel mobility shift electrophoresis assay was used to examine cytoplasmic extracts from mock- and MHV-JHM-infected 17Cl-1 murine cells for the ability to form complexes with defined regions of the genomic RNA. We demonstrated the specific binding of host cell proteins to multiple sites within the 3' end of MHV-JHM genomic RNA. By using a set of RNA probes with deletions at either the 5' or 3' end or both ends, two distinct binding sites were located. The first protein-binding element was mapped in the 3'-most 42 nucleotides of the genomic RNA [3' (+42) RNA], and the second element was mapped within an 86-nucleotide sequence encompassing nucleotides 171 to 85 from the 3' end of the genome (171-85 RNA). A single potential stem-loop structure is predicted for the 3' (+)42 RNA, and two stem-loop structures are predicted for the 171-85 RNA. Proteins interacting with these two elements were identified by UV-induced covalent cross-linking to labeled RNAs followed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis. The RNA-protein complex formed with the 3'-most 42 nucleotides contains approximately five host polypeptides, a highly labeled protein of 120 kDa and four minor species with sizes of 103, 81, 70, and 55 kDa. The second protein-binding element, contained within a probe representing nucleotides 487 to 85 from the 3' end of the genome, also appears to bind five host polypeptides, 142, 120, 100, 55, and 33 kDa in size, with the 120-kDa protein being the most abundant. The RNA-protein complexes observed with MHV-infected cells in both RNase protection/gel mobility shift and UV cross-linking assays were identical to those observed with uninfected cells. The possible involvement of the interaction of host proteins with the viral genome during MHV replication is discussed.

published proceedings

  • J Virol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Yu, W., & Leibowitz, J. L.

citation count

  • 53

complete list of authors

  • Yu, W||Leibowitz, JL

publication date

  • April 1995